There is no shortage of distributed-ledger technology (DLT) projects across the capital markets. Seemingly, every firm in the space has thrown its hat into the ring, working on some type of offering either internally, through a consortium, or via a mentorship program. So it seemed appropriate for Waters to add a category to the Sell-Side Technology Awards to reward a firm for its success in working with this innovative technology. And while there are plenty of vendors pushing their specific DLT-based solutions, one provider’s approach to DLT, and getting firms accustomed to using it, stood out to the judging panel. Synechron, a digital consulting and technology firm and its Blockchain Accelerator Program takes home the win in the first year this category has been on offer.
The program aims to help firms experience the benefits of the technology through six blockchain applications focused on various areas of the industry: trade finance, know-your-customer (KYC), mortgage financing and processing, insurance claims processing, over-the-counter smart margins, and global payments. “Unlike other DLT projects that focus on conceptualizing a blockchain solution, Synechron was one of the first to develop working blockchain applications that reimagined the world on blockchain, built on leading platforms like Ethereum and Hyperledger’s Fabric,” says Sandeep Kumar, managing director of capital markets at Synechron. “Synechron’s Blockchain Accelerator Program enables firms to experience blockchain’s most tangible benefits in enhancing business operations, minimizing operating costs and combatting fraudulent activity. The applications bring together distributed-ledger technology (DLT), smart contract functionality, digital payments and the inherent security features of a private, permissioned blockchain.”
Synechron has dedicated a 50-person team in its Financial Innovation Labs (FinLabs) focused on blockchain innovation to offer clients end-to-end delivery capabilities and accelerate their blockchain initiatives through continued Agile development in a sandbox environment, according to Kumar.
The New York-based firm has already done custom development work for a number of capital markets firms. Data specialist Dun & Bradstreet participated in a proof-of-concept in which a unique blockchain identity was mapped for 6,500 current DUNS identification numbers. Kumar says the firm is actively working on several paid blockchain development initiatives and plans to release additional pilot and production projects in 2017. “We’re also helping our clients with the development of additional business cases through our blockchain consulting practice to assess what makes a good blockchain project, what platform is best fit-for-purpose across options like Ethereum, Hyperledger’s Fabric, Corda, Quorum and others, and how to bring together the ecosystem they need to initiate a project,” Kumar says.
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